- Leukemia dominated much of Katie Woods’ childhood. Now that the 13 year-old is cancer-free she's helping other kids through their treatments.
When Katie was diagnosed with leukemia at 3 years old, the best part of chemotherapy was picking out a toy from the hospital's "treasure chest".
She wanted to make sure that other kids had the same opportunity to smile after their treatments.
"It's just kind of like, something to look forward too and the end of having to go through a spinal tap or something,” said the 13 year old, “I know that it doesn't make it go away, but it helps."
Like many little kids with leukemia, Katie was put through a grueling, 2-year regimen of pills and needles.
"There were certain medications she took daily, certain medications she took weekly and that was pretty much our life for a very long time," said Katie’s mother, Keri Woods.
Treatment also meant hospital visits at least once a month, and plenty of procedures and side effects like moodiness, and tiredness.
Katie has two long necklaces of “bravery beads”, each one represents a blood transfusion, bone marrow test, spinal tap, or other milestone like losing her hair.
"She didn't have a choice of the things she had to go through,” said Keri Woods, “But at least she could get a surprise at the end. And she really liked stuffed animals, so she always chose a stuffed animal."
This year Katie raised $3,600 to buy toys for the treasure chest. It's the second donation she's made to Marshfield's pediatric cancer center.
If you'd like to make a donation to Marshfield’s treasure chest and help children in their battle with cancer, contact Tiffany Halan in Marshfield Clinic’s Development Department at 715-387-9189, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.